French not returning to Bears

The Washington Capitals and Hershey Bears announced today that Bears head coach Mark French will not return for the 2013-14 season.

“We commend Mark for his commitment, leadership and diligent work with the Hershey Bears,” Bears president/general manager Doug Yingst stated. “He is an excellent coach and an even better person. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The search for the team’s 24th head coach is currently underway.

Named an assistant coach in January 2008, French spent six seasons in Hershey, winning Calder Cups in 2009 as an assistant under Bob Woods and in 2010 in his first season as head coach. At the reins from 2009-13, French guided the club to a mark of 180-110-22 (.612) — including an AHL-record 60-win season in 2009-10 — and four appearances in the Calder Cup Playoffs.